Garlic has an excellent safety record. Garlic was prized for its anti-microbial effects long before microbes were even discovered. French priests of the Middle Ages used garlic to protect themselves against bubonic plague. During World War I, European soldiers prevented infection by putting garlic directly on their wounds.
Clinical experiments in recent times have confirmed several ancient beliefs about the healing value of garlic. These experiments have in fact proven much greater power of garlic than known previously. There are few studies showing that garlic lowers blood pressure. However, these studies have been small, of low quality and not fully convincing. Some experts say better studies need to be done before garlic can be recommended to treat high blood pressure.
Several studies suggest that garlic may reduce the risk of developing cancer of the stomach or colon. However, these are only early results, and there are no definitive answers at this time. Studies are being done (many of them in China) to further investigate the use of garlic for cancer. Other cancers under examination include breast, head and neck, lung, prostate and urinary tract cancers.
Some of the most popular traditional uses of garlic have been for treating colds, coughs, yeast infections, asthma, leprosy, bronchial congestion, and gall bladder trouble. “Garlic is good for the heart, a food for the hair, a stimulant to appetite and a strength-giving food,” a sage once said.
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